Zero Waste Shops In Manchester
If you’re looking to reduce your plastic consumption and shop a little more sustainably, Manchester has an abundance of zero waste stores to shop at. From refillable grains and spices, to zero waste beauty products and more, Manchester has it all!
I’ve put together this post and an illustrated map to show you all of the amazing zero waste shops in Manchester. There’s never been a more important time to support local businesses, and with the exception of M&S, all of the shops featured in this post are run independently.
Check them out on the map below and keep reading to find out more…
I UPDATED THIS MAP IN NOVEMBER 2020. TO SEE THE UPDATED VERSION, HEAD OVER HERE.
Illustrated Map of Manchester’s Zero Waste Stores. Drawn by Pip, Elm.
1. Ancoats General Store
Where? 57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB.
Best For: Refill household basics.
My Fave: The refill chocolate covered honeycomb pieces.
Nestled in the heart of Ancoats, Ancoats General Store is a treasure trove full of food, drink, gifts, a coffee shop, post office… and more! They really have crammed a lot into this small space, including a refill section of basic, dried produce and household cleaning products. For me, this is my nearest store so I use it for some of my food refills, plastic free milk and refilling my laundry liquid. It’s a great little store with a happy atmosphere!
2. Earth Friendly Rocker
Where? 3rd Floor, Afflecks Palace, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW.
Best For: Pampering products.
My Fave: The Bottled Baking Co Bottles.
With a gorgeous range of pampering goodies, from candles to bath melts and essential oils, Earth Friendly Rocker has everything you need for a relaxing, zero waste night in. They also stock everyday essentials such as reusable period pads and refill household cleaning products. A friendly, alternative zero waste shop tucked away in Manchester’s unique Affleck’s Palace. Definitely well worth a visit! Read more about Earth Friendly Rocker here.
3. McCalls Organics
Where? Unit 6-7 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PN.
Best For: Organic vegetables.
My Fave: Packaging free salad leaves.
A family run business, sat next door to it’s sister business McCalls Exotics, McCalls Organics stocks a huge variety of products. This deceptively large shop has so much in there, which at first glance you wouldn’t necessarily notice. From organic veg, to refill dried goods and plastic free beauty products, McCalls Organics is a one stop shop for everything you need in your weekly shop.
Where? 7 Market St, Manchester M1 1WT.
Best For: Refill frozen fruit and vegetables.
My Faves: Refill frozen peas and chocolate pretzels (eaten separately obvs!)
Although M&S isn’t an independent store, which I always prefer to support, I feel I couldn’t leave it out. It’s the first chain supermarket in Manchester to install a refill section, and it’s a pretty good one at that! They’ve got your usual dried goods section filled with cereals, rice, pasta, snacks etc. However, my favourite part has to be the refill FROZEN section! They’ve got refill frozen fruit and vegetables, which means I no longer have to buy bags of plastic wrapped peas! Woo!
5. Stretford Food Hall
Where? Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 9BD.
Best For: Refill household basics.
My Fave: The orange juice machine.
Owned by the same people as Ancoats General store, Stretford Food Hall is a haven of local food and drink, split into two halves: a shop and cafe/bar. On one end of the space you have pop-up food stands and a bar, with an extensive seating area, and the other end is a shop, crammed full of delicious food, including a refill station which is stocked with dried goods and household products. They also have an orange juice machine where you can refill bottles with fresh juice!
6. Unicorn Groceries
Where? 89 Albany Rd, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0BN.
Best For: Local produce.
My Fave: The community feel.
Although not technically a ‘zero waste store’, Unicorn Grocery offers a lot in the way of plastic free products – from loose vegetables to refillable oats and skincare products. Unicorn was established in 1996 by a small group of people committed to social change, who had a vision for the kind of place they wanted to shop in. They offer affordable, fresh food with an emphasis on organic, fair-trade and local produce. Unicorn is run as a workers’ co-operative, owned and democratically controlled by the staff who work in the shop. It’s a really lovely shop, packed full of amazing food and people – check it out if you’re in the Chorlton area!
7. Eighth Day
Where? 111 Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7DU.
Best For: A bit of everything.
My Fave: The sheer variety!
Eighth Day describes themselves as a one-stop shop for all things vegan & vegetarian… and they’re not wrong! They have managed to cram a hell of a lot into this store. First opened in 1970 on the now demolished New Brown Street, Eighth Day has had many forms and been based in a variety of locations across Manchester. Now based on Oxford Road, Eighth Day offers the largest selection of veggie, vegan, organic and Fairtrade food in the Northwest! Similar to Unicorn Grocery, this isn’t specifically a zero waste store, but has a plethora of plastic free products and a basic refill section, so there’s plenty to choose from.
8. Lentils & Lather
Where? 50 Burton Rd, Withington, Manchester M20 3EB.
Best For: Refill snacks and spices.
My Fave: The refill dark chocolate covered cranberries.
Owned by eco-conscious couple, Paulina and Peachey, Lentils & Lather is a zero waster’s dream! Filled with refill food, spices, cleaning, beauty products and more, Lentils & Lather is a plastic free paradise. It’s a super-friendly shop and there’s plenty of space for you to browse and weigh out what you need. As well as refill products, Lentil & Lather also stock a variety of beauty, home and lifestyle products too – all plastic free of course!
9. The Good Life
Where? 472 Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, SK4 3BS.
Best For: Nuts, seeds & grains.
My Fave: The branding, the shop is beautiful.
The Good Life is an independent waste-free mini market created by Shelley Brown. With a mission to provide a positive place in the centre of the Heatons community, the shop allows customers to easily shop in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. Shelley price matches her products to be in line with Tesco, so it’s no more expensive to shop at The Good Life than it is at a regular supermarket (without the plastic packaging!). This is an important factor to her, as she doesn’t want the shop to feel elitist in any way.
10. One Small Step
Where? Altrincham Market, Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1PF.
Best For: Refilling your cupboard staples.
My Fave: It’s a market stall!
One Small Step began in April 2019 by Rachael Wong at Altrincham Market. At the market stall you can find a wide variety of unpackaged, refillable goods – pastas, grains, cereals and snacks, as well as cleaning and bathroom products such as laundry detergent and body wash. One Small Step also has a large range of reusable and biodegradable lifestyle products. Alongside the market stall, Rachael has started a delivery service in the local Altrincham area too.
11. Village Green Community CoOperative
Where? 1 Longfield Centre, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1AY.
Best For: Fresh fruit & veg.
My Fave: The sense of community spirit.
Village Greens opened in Prestwich back in June 2014. Owned by the community from Prestwich and the surrounding area, their focus is to provide sustainable, high quality products at an affordable price. The shop aims to be a hub for the community’s health and happiness within Prestwich. They stock a wide variety of fruit and veg, bread and organic foods, as well as sustainable ranges of home and healthcare products. They also offer refill household and health products for you to fill your own containers with.
12. The Dispensary
Where? Ellesmere Shopping Centre, Walkden, Worsley, Manchester M28 3ZH.
Best For: Zero waste cleaning & cosmetics.
My Fave: The gifting section of the shop.
Fed up of having no access to zero waste stores in Salford, The Dispensary was set up by husband and wife duo, Ed and Fay. As well as running the shop, Fay is a mother of two and works in a local primary school. The shop sells refill cleaning and beauty products, as well as a range of gifts and other eco-friendly household items. The Dispensary also runs regular arts and crafts events (pre corona), perfect for bringing the Salford community together!
13. A Small Good Thing
Where? 29 Church Rd, Bolton BL1 6HH.
Best For: Meal ideas.
My Fave: Their friendly, down to earth approach.
Friends Lisa and Emily set up A Small Good Thing in 2017 out of ‘a love for food, the environment, people and each other’. They started as a pop-up stall in a local pub but soon grew and moved into permanent store premises. A Small Good Thing is a greengrocers with a focus on community, seasonal organic produce and waste reduction. They are a friendly, approachable store and are always happy to chat about meal ideas with anyone who goes in!
Where? 46 Bridge St, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9AQ.
Best For: Variety!
My Fave: The new microbakery.
Ramsbottom based Plentiful opened its doors in 2018 and is owned by Abbie Sellers. The store offers customers a huge range of food staples, including dried goods, freshly baked sourdough and organic vegetables. There are also cleaning product refills, and plastic free items such as shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes and deodorants. For anyone who’s based north of Manchester, this store is a must visit! Find out more about Plentiful here.
Thanks for reading! Have you visited any of these zero waste Manchester stores? Which ones are your favourite?